Fall 2022

  • POSC 100: Political Culture and Political Communication

    From political actions taken by leaders, citizens, cross-border workers, and inhabitants during the pandemic to news coverage of political campaigns, global communication networks have transformed politics and challenged personal as well as political communication. This seminar examines news coverage of events in the comparative contexts of US, UK, and EU politics as well as the challenges we face in personal communication in cross– and trans-cultural communication in global and local political and social spaces.

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 100: Science and Humanity

    The modern age has been characterized by the unprecedented advance of natural science and the attempt to achieve technological mastery of nature. How did this come about? What worldview does it express, and how does that worldview affect the way we live and think? We will investigate these questions by studying classic works by some of modernity’s philosophic founders (including Francis Bacon, René Descartes, and Thomas Hobbes) and some of its most penetrating interpreters and critics (including Jonathan Swift and Friedrich Nietzsche).

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 120: Democracy and Dictatorship

    An introduction to the array of different democratic and authoritarian political institutions in both developing and developed countries. We will also explore key issues in contemporary politics in countries around the world, such as nationalism and independence movements, revolution, regime change, state-making, and social movements. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Huan Gao, Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Christina Farhart, Adam Le
  • POSC 160: Political Philosophy

    Introduction to ancient and modern political philosophy. We will investigate several fundamentally different approaches to the basic questions of politics–questions concerning the character of political life, the possibilities and limits of politics, justice, and the good society–and the philosophic presuppositions (concerning human nature and human flourishing) that underlie these, and all, political questions. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022, Spring 2023 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 170: International Relations and World Politics

    What are the foundational theories and practices of international relations and world politics? This course addresses topics of a geopolitical, commercial and ideological character as they relate to global systems including: great power politics, polycentricity, and international organizations. It also explores the dynamic intersection of world politics with war, terrorism, nuclear weapons, national security, human security, human rights, and the globalization of economic and social development. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Tun Myint, Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 204: How American Campaigns and Elections Work (and Don’t Work)

    Campaigns and elections are the cornerstones of our democracy. Formally, they are the way we select our elected officials; informally they tell us a lot about the American ethos, the preferences of particular demographics, and the future direction of our country. The course will draw from scholarship in political psychology, political behavior and participation, and public opinion and will examine American campaigns and elections through three lenses: the institutional structures that guide them; the candidates and voters that participate in them; and the political scientists who study them. 

    6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Brian Harrison
  • POSC 215: Comparative Political Communication: News Coverage of Elections

    This course will focus on the major theories of political communication in election advertising and political news contexts. Our case studies will focus on recent U.S., French, and UK elections. We compare the legal and cultural contexts of election news coverage and advertising in these countries and analyze media effects on voter perceptions using political psychology studies based on research in the U.S., UK, and EU.

    6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 230: Methods of Political Research

    An introduction to research method, research design, and the analysis of political data. The course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they are employed in the discipline. The course will consider the philosophy of scientific research generally, the philosophy of social science research, theory building and theory testing, the components of applied (quantitative and qualitative) research across the major sub-fields of political science, and basic methodological tools. Intended for majors only.

    Prerequisites: Statistics 120, 230, 250, (formerly Mathematics 215, 245, 275), AP Statistics (score of 4 or 5) or Psychology 200/201 or Sociology/Anthropology 239 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Greg Marfleet, Christina Farhart
  • POSC 232: Political Science Lab Focus Group Analysis

    This lab offers a hands-on experience in designing and moderating a small group discussion for the purpose of observing not only attitudes, beliefs, and opinions but also dynamic social interactions as a method for getting answers to complex, dynamic social science research questions. Students will design a focus group study, learning about participant selection and recruitment; question writing and protocol design; group conversation moderation; data extraction and analysis, report writing, and overall project and data management.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 240: At the Corner of Broadway and Main Street: The Contrasting Politics of Northfield and the Twin Cities

    According to the 2020 U.S. Census, roughly 328.2 million people live in the United States. Of that population, 63% live in one of 19,500 “incorporated places,” defined as a city, town ,village, or borough with legally-prescribed limits, powers, and functions. However, three-quarters of incorporated places have fewer than 5,000 people; 42% have fewer than 500 people. In fact, only 40% of all cities have a population of 50,000 or more in 2019, yet nearly 39% of the U.S. population live in those cities. A majority of human social, political, and economic interactions now happen in urban areas (like the Twin Cities) but a significant portion of American life is experienced in smaller towns (like Northfield). Utilizing established social theories, critical thinking skills, and common research techniques, we will learn how to bolster our understanding of both rural and urban phenomena, policies, and processes, addressing topics like political, racial, and class polarization; intolerance; health care; housing, development, and zoning, and transportation. Through field visits to and speakers from both the Twin Cities and Northfield, we will chart the urban/rural political divide to provide a richer understanding of politics and policy in all corners of the United States.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Brian Harrison
  • POSC 253: Welfare Capitalisms in Post-War Europe

    In this course students will explore the different kinds of welfare states that exist in Europe, the political economic and social conditions that made them possible and the debates about their strengths, weaknesses and prospects. We will review the so-called “varieties of capitalism” literature along with key welfare policies such as social insurance, health care, education, unemployment insurance, family and income support, and pensions. Welfare states use combinations of these policies differently to insure citizens against “old” and “new” risks. Finally, the course looks at how welfare regimes have responded of migration, financial, and public health crises.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Paul Petzschmann
  • POSC 263: Revolutions in the Age of Internet

    Do you want to create a revolution? This course studies how the Internet and social media present challenges and possibilities of expanding human freedom and democracy. How have the dynamics of revolutions been shaped by the Internet? What are the differences between revolutions before and after the Internet?  Are agency and freedom of individuals different in actual and virtual worlds?  What are the rising challenges and possibilities for democracy to capitalize on digital freedom? What are the theories and analytical concepts that will help us understand the rise of digital individuals and the future of freedom? The course primarily focuses on the politics and history of the democracy movement in Myanmar/Burma while students will comparatively study revolutions in other countries.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Tun Myint
  • POSC 264: Politics of Contemporary China

    This course examines the political, social, and economic transformation of China over the past century. Though contemporary issues are at the heart of the course, students will delve into an entire century of changes and upheaval to understand the roots of current affairs in China. Particular emphasis will be placed on state-building and how this has changed state-society relations at the grassroots. Students will also explore how the Chinese Communist Party has survived and even thrived while many other Communist regimes have fallen and assess the relationship between economic development and democratization.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Huan Gao
  • POSC 273: Race and Politics in the U.S.

    This course addresses race and ethnicity in U.S. politics. Following an introduction to historical, sociological, and psychological approaches to the study of race and ethnicity, we apply these approaches to understanding the ways in which racial attitudes have been structured along a number of political and policy dimensions, e.g., welfare, education, criminal justice. Students will gain an increased understanding of the multiple contexts that shape contemporary racial and ethnic politics and policies in the U.S., and will consider the role of institutional design, policy development, representation, and racial attitudes among the general U.S. public and political environment.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Christina Farhart
  • POSC 276: Imagination in Politics: Resisting Totalitarianism

    Ideological fanaticism is on the rise today. Individuals prefer the incantation of slogans and clichés to autonomous thinking, moderation, and care for the diversity and complexity of circumstances and of human beings. The results are the inability to converse across differences and the tendency to ostracize and exclude others in the name of tribal and populist nationalism, as well as of racism. Hannah Arendt called totalitarianism this form of ideological hypnosis, which characterizes not only totalitarian political regimes, but can also colonize liberal-democracies. In this class we will read some of the works of Arendt to better understand the power of imagination to enhance critical and independent thinking and resist totalitarianism.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 285: The U.S. Intelligence Community

    This course covers the U.S. Intelligence Community, how intelligence supports national security policy development, and how intelligence is applied to execute strategy in pursuit of policy objectives (specifically, implementation of national security and foreign policy initiatives). Studying the structure, processes, procedures, oversight, and capabilities of the Intelligence Community will enhance understanding of how intelligence supported or failed policymakers in national security decision-making, including the areas of diplomatic and economic cooperation and engagement, and security challenges ranging from deterrence to conventional war. The course concludes with the study of asymmetric/hybrid warfare in our modern age and how intelligence might be used to better understand the changing dynamics of future global conflict.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Jon Olson
  • POSC 300: Political Research Experience

    This course is a collaborative, hands-on, research seminar related to a faculty member’s research program. Students should expect to meet regularly with the faculty supervisor and, depending on the stage or type of research, collect and analyze data, read and interpret primary literature and engage its criticism, submit written material and prepare presentation content. To enroll, students must complete the application form (available on line or in the department office) in consultation with the professor. 

    Prerequisites: Instructor Permission 3 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Huan Gao, Tun Myint
  • POSC 313: Legal Issues in Higher Education

    This seminar will explore pressing legal and policy issues facing American colleges and universities. The course will address the ways core academic values (e.g., academic freedom; the creation and maintenance of a community based on shared values) fit or conflict with legal rules and political dynamics that operate beyond the academy. Likely topics include how college admissions are shaped by legal principles, with particular emphasis on debates over affirmative action; on-campus speech; faculty tenure; intellectual property; student rights and student discipline (including discipline for sexual assault); and college and university relations with the outside world.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2022 · Steven Poskanzer
  • POSC 328: Foreign Policy Analysis*

    Foreign policy analysis is a distinct sub-field within international relations that focuses on explaining the actions and choices of actors in world politics. After a review of the historical development of the sub-field, we will explore approaches to foreign policy that emphasize the empirical testing of hypotheses that explain how policies and choices are formulated and implemented. The psychological sources of foreign policy decisions (including leaders’ beliefs and personalities and the effect of decision-making groups) are a central theme. Completion of a lower level IR course and the stats/methods sequence is recommended. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 358: Comparative Social Movements*

    This course will examine the role that social movements play in political life. The first part of the course will critically review the major theories that have been developed to explain how social movements form, operate and seek to influence politics at both the domestic and international levels. In the second part of the course, these theoretical approaches will be used to explore a number of case studies involving social movements that span several different issue areas and political regions. Potential case studies include the transnational environmental movement, religious movements in Latin America and the recent growth of far right activism in northern Europe. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Dev Gupta

Winter 2023

  • POSC 120: Democracy and Dictatorship

    An introduction to the array of different democratic and authoritarian political institutions in both developing and developed countries. We will also explore key issues in contemporary politics in countries around the world, such as nationalism and independence movements, revolution, regime change, state-making, and social movements. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Huan Gao, Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Christina Farhart, Adam Le
  • POSC 170: International Relations and World Politics

    What are the foundational theories and practices of international relations and world politics? This course addresses topics of a geopolitical, commercial and ideological character as they relate to global systems including: great power politics, polycentricity, and international organizations. It also explores the dynamic intersection of world politics with war, terrorism, nuclear weapons, national security, human security, human rights, and the globalization of economic and social development. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Tun Myint, Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 212: Political Psychology of Elites

    When we study the decisions of political leaders, we often consider them in terms of power relations between states. The class examines psychological explanations of leaders’ decision-making. We focus on political elites’ actions, especially in foreign policy asking, why otherwise intelligent and savvy individuals and groups often make very poor decisions. Students will learn about different theoretical perspectives and how to apply them to different historical examples in the study of elite decision-making from the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the Covid pandemic. Students will evaluate contending theories, joining theory and practice to explain elites’ motives and decisions shaping world politics.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2023 · Dan Stevens
  • POSC 230: Methods of Political Research

    An introduction to research method, research design, and the analysis of political data. The course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they are employed in the discipline. The course will consider the philosophy of scientific research generally, the philosophy of social science research, theory building and theory testing, the components of applied (quantitative and qualitative) research across the major sub-fields of political science, and basic methodological tools. Intended for majors only.

    Prerequisites: Statistics 120, 230, 250, (formerly Mathematics 215, 245, 275), AP Statistics (score of 4 or 5) or Psychology 200/201 or Sociology/Anthropology 239 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Greg Marfleet, Christina Farhart
  • POSC 235: The Endless War on Terror

    In the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. launched the Global War on Terror to purportedly find, stop,and defeat every terrorist group with a global reach. Without question, the Global War on Terror has radically shaped everything from U.S. foreign policies and domestic institutions to civil liberties and pop culture. In this course, we will examine the events of 9/11 and then critically assess the immediate and long-term ramifications of the endless Global War on Terror on different states and communities around the world. While we will certainly spend time interrogating U.S. policies from the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, we will also examine reactions to those policies across both the global north and the global south.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2023
  • POSC 251: Modern Political Philosophy: Liberalism and Its Critics

    Liberalism has been the dominant political philosophy of our age, and we who live in a liberal polity have been shaped by it. But liberalism has been, and continues to be, the target of sharp critique. What is liberalism, and what can be said both for and against it? In this course we will examine liberalism’s philosophic roots and engage with some of its most forceful advocates and most profound critics. Readings will be drawn from authors such as Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, and Tocqueville.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 257: Marxist Political Thought

    A discussion seminar focussed on an in-depth reading of Karl Marx’s “Capital” as well as an exploration of “Marxism after Marx” in the work of Engels, Lenin and Bernstein. The second part of the course will focus on themes raised by Marx in the Political Economy literature today: economic growth and inequality, the role of the state, taxation and redistribution.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Paul Petzschmann
  • POSC 265: Public Policy and Global Capitalism

    This course provides a comprehensive introduction to comparative and international public policy. It examines major theories and approaches to public policy design and implementation in several major areas: international policy economy (including the study of international trade and monetary policy, financial regulation, and comparative welfare policy), global public health and comparative healthcare policy, institutional development (including democratic governance, accountability systems, and judicial reform), and environmental public policy.

    Prerequisites: Statistics 120 (formerly Mathematics 215) strongly recommended, or instructor permission 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Alfred Montero
  • POSC 271: Constitutional Law I

    This course will explore the United States Constitution and the legal doctrines that have emerged from it, using them as lenses through which to understand the history—and shape the future—of this country. Using prominent Supreme Court opinions as teaching tools and loci of debate (including cases on the Court’s recent and current docket), this course will explore the different kind of theoretical approaches with which to make Constitutional arguments and interpret the Constitution. It is one of two paired courses (the other being POSC 272) that complement each other. Both courses will address the structure and functioning of the United States government, and will explore in greater depth the historic Constitutional “trends” towards greater equality and more liberty (albeit slowly, haltingly, and with steps both forward and backward). This course will focus in particular on how matters of racial justice have been a Constitutional issue from the very beginning of the nation—and very much remain unfinished legal work. In exploring matters of personal liberty, this course will focus in particular on First Amendment freedom of religion.  Finally, in examining governmental structures, this course will emphasize federalism and the distribution of power between the national and state governments, including the rise of a nationwide economic system and the modern administrative state. The course will require close reading of judicial opinions and other texts, and learning how to construct arguments using logic and precedent. A special feature of this course will be detailed examination and intra-class mock debate of the cases the Supreme Court will hear this fall challenging raced-based affirmative action programs at private and public universities. 

    6 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2023 · Steven Poskanzer
  • POSC 279: Global Challenges and Civil Society Solutions

    Tocqueville once remarked“if men who live in democratic countries did not acquire the practice of associating with each other in ordinary life, civilization itself would be in peril.” Today, our lives are affected by a wide spectrum of these associations of ordinary life from the Catholic Church, to international NGOs like Greenpeace, to mundane neighborhood groups. This course investigates whether these organizations can help solve some of the most pressing global challenges like climate change, inequality, and epidemics. We will engage classic literature about civil society, study contemporary organizations and movements, and think critically about their political, social and economic impact.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2023 · Huan Gao
  • POSC 282: Terrorism and Counterterrorism

    This course focuses on the historic and modern use of violence or the threat of violence by non-state actors to secure political outcomes. We will review the strategy and tactics of various terror groups, use case studies to understand the logic of terrorism, assess why some groups succeed while others fail, and study terrorist organizations’ efforts at recruitment and indoctrination. These topics will be addressed from theoretical and practical perspectives, with input from expert guest speakers. Finally, we will assess counterterrorism measures, including the moral, ethical, legal, and practical approaches to creating security in the modern world.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Jon Olson
  • POSC 283: Separatist Movements

    This course explores the emergence and resolution of separatist movements around the world. While separatist movements are often associated with the violent dissolution of states, not all separatist movements result in violence and not all separatist movements seek independence. We will investigate the conditions under which separatist pressures are most likely to develop and when such pressures result in actual separation. We will contrast the tactics of movements, from peaceful approaches in places like contemporary Quebec or Scotland, to peaceful outcomes like the “velvet divorce” of Czechoslovakia, to violent insurrections in places like the Philippines, Spain, and Northern Ireland. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Dev Gupta
  • POSC 306: Identity Politics and Group Behavior in America*

    In recent years we have heard a lot about “identity politics.” This course aims to answer the question, why do people form group-based identities and how do they impact mass political attitudes and behavior? Using examples from American politics, we will examine the psychological underpinnings of identity and group-based affiliations as well as their political consequences. In doing so, we will explore how bias, prejudice, and social hierarchy are formed, maintained, and changed. Such evaluations will be based on discussions of various dominant and minority group identities including partisanship, race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and place. Students will learn how and where the United States has progressed in promoting group equality and fairness and where it has not or has even moved backwards. Students end the course with a deeper understanding of the core American paradox of the persistence of group hierarchy in a country dedicated to democracy, equality, and liberty and what people can do to resolve that paradox.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Brian Harrison
  • POSC 308: Global Gender Politics*

    How have gendered divisions of power, labor, and resources contributed to the global crises of violence, sustainability, and inequity? Where and why has the pursuit of gender justice elicited intense backlash, especially within the last two decades? In this course, we will explore the global consequences of gender inequality and the ongoing pursuit of gender justice both transnationally and in different regions of the world. We will investigate a variety of cases ranging from land rights movements in East Africa, to the international movement to ban nuclear weapons. Finally, we will pay special attention to how hard-won gains in women’s rights and other related inequalities in world affairs are being jeopardized by new and old authoritarianisms.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2023
  • POSC 335: Navigating Environmental Complexity—Challenges to Democratic Governance and Political Communication

    How can we design democratic institutions to deal with environmental and social problems? Are there universal approaches to solving political problems in physically and socially diverse communities? Do people come up with different institutional ways to address shared problems because of environmental or cultural differences? Our seminar considers current thinking about complex social-ecological systems and how we communicate and work collectively to address the problems of local and global commons.  

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 348: Strangers, Foreigners and Exiles*

    The course explores the role that strangers play in human life, the challenges that foreigners create for democratic politics, the promises they bring to it, as well as the role of exiles in improving the cultural capacity of societies to live with difference. We will read texts by Arendt, Kafka, Derrida, Sophocles, Said, Joseph Conrad, Tzvetan Todorov, and Julia Kristeva. Special attention will be given to the plight of Roma in Europe, as a typical case of strangers that are still perceived nowadays as a menace to the modern sedentary civilization. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 361: Approaches to Development*

    The meaning of “development” has been contested across multiple disciplines. The development and continual existence of past civilizations has been at the core of the discourse among those who study factors leading to the rise and fall of civilizations. Can we reconcile the meaning of development in economic terms with cultural, ecological, political, religious, social and spiritual terms? How can we measure it quantitatively? What and how do the UNDP Human Development Indexes and the World Development Reports measure? What are the exemplary cases that illustrate development? How do individual choices and patterns of livelihood activities link to development trends? 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Tun Myint
  • POSC 372: Mansions and Shantytowns: Politics of the Spaces We Live In*

    This course explores theories about spaces/places and investigates the impact of our physical environment on a broad range of social and political issues. We will look at how parks, monuments, residential communities, and other features of our cities and towns are made, who makes them, and in turn, their effects on our daily lives. Students will engage with important contemporary issues such as residential segregation, public space management, protest policing, etc. Most of the course will focus on urban politics, with a brief foray into rural issues. The goal of this course is to encourage students to think about everyday environmental features in a more systematic and theoretic manner and design social scientific inquiries into spatial issues.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Huan Gao

Spring 2023

  • POSC 120: Democracy and Dictatorship

    An introduction to the array of different democratic and authoritarian political institutions in both developing and developed countries. We will also explore key issues in contemporary politics in countries around the world, such as nationalism and independence movements, revolution, regime change, state-making, and social movements. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Huan Gao, Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Christina Farhart, Adam Le
  • POSC 160: Political Philosophy

    Introduction to ancient and modern political philosophy. We will investigate several fundamentally different approaches to the basic questions of politics–questions concerning the character of political life, the possibilities and limits of politics, justice, and the good society–and the philosophic presuppositions (concerning human nature and human flourishing) that underlie these, and all, political questions. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022, Spring 2023 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 170: International Relations and World Politics

    What are the foundational theories and practices of international relations and world politics? This course addresses topics of a geopolitical, commercial and ideological character as they relate to global systems including: great power politics, polycentricity, and international organizations. It also explores the dynamic intersection of world politics with war, terrorism, nuclear weapons, national security, human security, human rights, and the globalization of economic and social development. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Tun Myint, Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 201: Statecraft and the Tools of National Power

    This course covers the science and art of statecraft, which is the application of the tools of national power. Students will study how nations use diplomatic, economic, and military power to achieve stated national policy objectives. The course is team-taught by three career national security professionals. Case studies are used to assess the application of diplomatic, economic, and military power in the real world. Course readings, papers, and significant classroom discussion will deliver content to students and set the stage for the International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise, which is a graded part of the course.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Jon Olson
  • POSC 210: Misinformation, Political Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories

    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories, hold on to misinformed beliefs even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, and/or spread political and social rumors that may have little basis in fact? Who is most vulnerable to these various forms of misinformation? What are the normative and political consequences of misperceptions (if any)? This course explores the psychological, political, and philosophical approaches to the study of the causes, consequences, and tenacity of conspiracy beliefs, misinformation, and political rumors, as well as possible approaches that journalists could employ to combat misperceptions.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Christina Farhart
  • POSC 214: Visual Representations of Political Thought and Action

    Visual media offer an alternative method of framing political ideas and events. Images found in such texts as film, posters, and even in statistical tables can enlighten–or mislead. Readings in visual theory, political psychology, and graphic representation will enable you to read images and use these powerful media to convey your ideas and research.

    3 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2023 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 227: Contemporary Capitalisms

    This course examines the intersections between political and economic power: how markets are embedded in social and political institutions and how they in turn shape political life and institutions. It begins with a survey of classic and contemporary theoretical frameworks, followed by an overview of the history of contemporary market economies and the search for “development,” both in the global north as well as the south. It then analyzes the contemporary varieties of capitalism across the globe, with a focus on their varying responses to challenges like globalization, economic crises, technological transformations, and climate change.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 230: Methods of Political Research

    An introduction to research method, research design, and the analysis of political data. The course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they are employed in the discipline. The course will consider the philosophy of scientific research generally, the philosophy of social science research, theory building and theory testing, the components of applied (quantitative and qualitative) research across the major sub-fields of political science, and basic methodological tools. Intended for majors only.

    Prerequisites: Statistics 120, 230, 250, (formerly Mathematics 215, 245, 275), AP Statistics (score of 4 or 5) or Psychology 200/201 or Sociology/Anthropology 239 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Greg Marfleet, Christina Farhart
  • POSC 244: The Politics of Eurovision

    At first glance, Eurovision, the decades-long, continent-wide singing contest, is nothing more than a mindless pop culture event. Dismissed as a celebration of (at best) mediocre music, Eurovision seems like it would be the last place to learn about serious politics. In this class, however, we will explore Eurovision as a place where art is deeply political and often engages in debates about gender and sexuality, race, the legacies of colonialism, war and revolution, nationalism, and democracy—not just within the context of the competition itself but how these discussions spill over into broader social and political dynamics.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Dev Gupta
  • POSC 249: From the International to the Global: Critical Theories of World Politics

    Why is the world divided territorially? Why are some states considered more powerful than others? What can be done about violent conflict? This course will introduce students with critical approaches to world politics that ask these and other big questions. Marxist, feminist, post-structuralist and post-colonial scholars have challenged classical approaches of thinking about the international in terms of states and power. They have also questioned the dominance of western conceptions of politics in the way political scientists view the world. In this course will read and debate their contributions and apply them to real cases. 

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Paul Petzschmann
  • POSC 258: Politics and Ambition

    Is personal ambition a threat to peace and the public good or is it a prod to nobility and heroism? Does it exemplify the opposition between self and society or does it represent their intersection and mutual support—or both? And what is the nature of political ambition, especially the ambition to rule: what does the would-be ruler really want? We will take up these and related questions by studying several classic works of philosophy and literature. Readings will likely include works by Plato, Xenophon, and Shakespeare as well as American founders, statesmen, and moral leaders. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2023 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 261: The Global Crisis of Democracy

    Democracy is in trouble worldwide. The most visible indicators are the rise of explicitly anti-democratic leaders and anti-liberal parties that employ populism and exploit ethnic and ideological polarization to acquire power. Democratic norms and institutions have eroded across the globe. Structures that undergirded the positive-sum linkage between industrialization, the rise of labor unions, and democratic parties in much of the West have been transformed in ways that undermine democracy. This course will analyze these and related trends that demonstrate that liberal democracy is suffering a global crisis. Instruction will cover cases across time and from all regions of the world.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Alfred Montero
  • POSC 268: Global Environmental Politics and Policy

    Global environmental politics and policy is the most prominent field that challenges traditional state-centric ways of thinking about international problems and solutions. This course examines local-global dynamics of environmental problems. The course will cover five arenas crucial to understanding the nature and origin of global environmental politics and policymaking mechanisms: (1) international environmental law; (2) world political orders; (3) human-environment interactions through politics and markets; (4) paradigms of sustainable development; and (5) dynamics of human values and rules. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Tun Myint
  • POSC 272: Constitutional Law II

    This course will explore the United States Constitution and the legal doctrines that have emerged from it, using them as lenses through which to understand the history—and shape the future—of this country. Using prominent Supreme Court opinions as teaching tools and loci of debate (including cases on the Court’s recent and current docket), this course will explore the different kind of theoretical approaches with which to make Constitutional arguments and interpret the Constitution. It is one of two paired courses (the other being POSC 271) that complement each other. Both courses will address the structure and functioning of the United States government, and will explore in greater depth the historic Constitutional “trends” towards greater equality and more liberty (albeit slowly, haltingly, and with steps both forward and backward). This course will focus in particular on how gender equality is very much unfinished Constitutional work on our way towards a “more perfect union.” This topic will include an examination of the Court’s recent controversial decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization  In exploring matters of personal liberty, this course will focus in particular on First Amendment freedom of speech and other fundamental rights protected under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Finally, in examining governmental structures, this course will emphasize the separation of powers across the branches of the federal government. The course will require close reading of judicial opinions and other texts, and learning how to construct arguments using logic and precedent. POSC 271 is not a prerequisite for POSC 272. The two courses can be taken independently, although having taking POSC 271 will provide students with a broader and more nuanced foundation for exploring the themes covered of this course

    6 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Spring 2023 · Steven Poskanzer
  • POSC 284: War and Peace in Northern Ireland

    This class examines the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants known as “The Troubles.” We will investigate the causes of violence in this region and explore the different phases of the conflict, including initial mobilization of peaceful protestors, radicalization into violent resistance, and de-escalation. We will also consider the international dimensions of the conflict and how groups forged transnational ties with diaspora groups and separatist movements around the world. Finally, we will explore the consequences of this conflict on present-day Northern Ireland’s politics and identify lessons from the peace process for other societies in conflict. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Dev Gupta
  • POSC 294: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Perceptions of Otherness in Modern Eastern and Central Europe

    Is nationalism fundamentally flawed in its inclusionary capacity? Can the same power of imagination to bring strangers together, which made nation-building possible, be deployed for inventing post-national forms of solidarity? The course will explore representations of strangers and foreigners in Central and Eastern Europe, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, with a special focus on Roma and Jews. The aim will be to understand how these representations will work to legitimize different forms of exclusionary politics. An important part of the course will explore the role that exiled and displaced people can play in reimagining identities on a cosmopolitan level.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 295: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Nation-Building in Central and Eastern Europe between Politics and Art

    The state and its cultural politics played a pivotal role in building the Romanian nation. The first part of the course will analyze the difficulties of nation-building in modern Romania, with a special emphasis on the incapacity of Romanian liberalism to prevent the rise of extreme right wing politics. The second part will explore different images of Romanian national identity that art provided both during the communist regime and in the post-1989 decades, also in a comparative perspective with Hungary, Bulgaria, and Serbia. The course will include visits to galleries, architectural sites and neighborhoods in Bucharest and its surroundings.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 296: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Challenges to the Nation-State in Eastern and Central Europe: Immigrants and Minorities

    How do democracies react when confronted with massive bodies of immigrants? Do the problems that Eastern and Central European countries face in dealing with immigrants reflect deeper challenges to their capacity of thinking of the nation along inclusionary lines? We will explore the legal and political issues that EU countries and their societies, particularly, in Eastern and Central Europe, face when confronted with a migration crisis. Then we will look at Roma’s history of exploitation and injustice in Eastern and Central Europe. The course will include visits with community groups and NGOs, as well as encounters with minority rights activists.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 302: Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*

    How do social and political groups interact? How do we understand these interactions in relation to power? This course will introduce the basic approaches and debates in the study of prejudice, racial attitudes, and intergroup relations. We will focus on three main questions. First, how do we understand and study prejudice and racism as they relate to U.S. politics? Second, how do group identities, stereotyping, and other factors help us understand the legitimation of discrimination, group hierarchy, and social domination? Third, what are the political and social challenges associated with reducing prejudice?

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Christina Farhart
  • POSC 333: Global Social Changes and Sustainability*

    This course is about the relationship between social changes and ecological changes to understand and to be able to advance analytical concepts, research methods, and theories of society-nature interactions. How do livelihoods of individuals and groups change over time and how do the changes affect ecological sustainability? What are the roles of human institutions in ecological sustainability? What are the roles of ecosystem dynamics in institutional sustainability? Students will learn fundamental theories and concepts that explain linkages between social change and environmental changes and gain methods and skills to measure social changes qualitatively and quantitatively. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Tun Myint